What the pill can do

The contraceptive pill may not have caught on in India as it has in the West, but it has the lowest failure rate: less than 0.1 pregnancy per 100 women per year. Dr Ankita Kaul, Senior Consultant, Gynaecology, Apollo Hospital answers some FAQs on the pill:

* Contraceptive pills regulate periods and makes them less painful.

* There is no increase in risk of breast cancer and there is a decreased risk of benign breast diseases.

* Temporary side-effects – which are extremely rare – include breast tenderness; fluid retention, acne, mild headache, high blood pressure, nausea, vomiting, elevation of triglycerides and cholesterol, and increased likelihood of vaginal yeast infection.

* It cannot be prescribed to women with deep vein thrombosis.

* Morning-after pills are emergency contraceptive pills prevent contraception after having unprotectad sex. They have to be taken 12 hours apart within 72 hours of having unprotected sex. They work by stopping an egg from being released or stopping a fertilised egg from implanting in the uterus. It works in 95 per cent of cases.

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